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Sachem was graced with a visit from the Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Education Department on Wednesday afternoon.
Ken Slentz, on a trip through Long Island to observe schools actively adjusting to the common core, made a stop at Seneca Middle School to attend Christine Marino’s sixth grade ELA humanities class. He observed and actively participated in the ancient civilization discussion, which specifically touched on the hippocratic oath.
“With the changes that we’re putting in place with the reform agenda, it’s very different to pass a policy and give good wishes to the field to see how it’s being implemented,” Mr. Slentz said. “For both [Commissioner King] and I it’s very important that we get out, find out what’s working well, find out what the obstacles are and try to be as helpful as we can to the teachers, principals and superintendents to continue to move this forward with the goal being that we want more and more of our kids to be college and career ready.”
Mr. Slentz said the practices that he saw in the classroom in Seneca were very much in line with the shifts that the common core requires.
“The leadership that is shown by the principals and superintendents are really pushing this work forward,” said Mr. Slentz, whose visit to Long Island also included a stop in Deer Park, Connetquot and Eastern Suffolk BOCES. “Clearly it’s getting into the classroom and it’s working. I have confidence they’ll bring the district forward.”
Sachem Superintendent James Nolan was very excited to have Mr. Slentz at Sachem.
“We wish he could have been with us longer to see the rest of our district, but Seneca did a tremendous job at representing Sachem,” Mr. Nolan siad. “We invite the state to come back and spend some time with us again.”
Mr. Nolan is also very pleased with how his staff and personnel has adapted to the changes in the common core.
“It’s a different way of teaching and learning,” he said. “Our teachers and administrators have gone above and beyond to stay ahead of the curve to be creative and it showed today. Kids are learning in greater depth and are learning to be able to explain what they learned.”
-Words and photos by Chris R. Vaccaro